My Gospel Oak: Why former triathlete and Rabble co-founder Charlotte Roach loves Heath life

Charlotte Roach, former professional triathlete, member of Hampstead Ladies Rugby Club, and co-found

Charlotte Roach, former professional triathlete, member of Hampstead Ladies Rugby Club, and co-founder of Rabble alternative sports club - Credit: Archant

Charlotte Roach, 26, of Lissenden Gardens in Gospel Oak, was a professional triathlete training for the 2012 Olympics until she was hit by a Land Rover and almost died. Now, back to full health, she has co-founded Rabble, an alternative sports club with a mission to make exercise fun. She is also a member of Hampstead Ladies Rugby Club

What brought you to Gospel Oak? I used to be an international runner, I love running off-road and swimming in open water so Hampstead Heath is the absolute dream. I can get lost for hours exploring paths in all weathers and seasons. It’s ironic that now I’m no longer a serious athlete I am living in the best place for training in my life.

What makes you smile on your way home? Seeing the lights of the busy city from the top of Highgate Hill. It’s a stunning scene showing the never-sleeping city from a peaceful overview.

What’s your favourite thing about Gospel Oak? Hampstead Heath. It’s my favourite thing about London, without a second of hesitation.

If you were the mayor for one day what would you change about Gospel Oak? I would make it easier for young people to live here.

How would you spend your perfect Sunday in Gospel Oak? A swim in Parliament Hill Lido, brunch in South End Green followed by a run on the Heath and drinks with friends in the Garden Gate.

As guest editor of the Ham&High what local issue would you like to see reported? I would love to see more on local sport and activities, particularly women’s teams. There are so many fantastic sports clubs and initiatives locally, for example Hampstead Rugby Club is a fantastic club with a great welcoming spirit. I am sure there are many more strong local active communities.

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Who is the most interesting person you have ever met? As a runner I used to be mentored by Kelly Holmes, she is unquestionably the most driven, dedicated and inspiring person I’ve ever met. She really taught me self-belief and its power.

Which other place in the world would you twin with Gospel Oak? I struggle to think of anywhere that is able to combine the urban excitement and opportunity, with the ability to access open green wild space. There is no other major world city that is able to offer this

If you had to write your own epitaph, what would it say? Just loved living.

Charlotte Roach was in conversation with Nicola Slawson