Roberto Wahhabi

 

Roberto grew up in Spain and participated in many different sports as a child. Although he did not start running long distances until he finished his university studies, he says conditioning through running was always a latent part of his athletic endeavors. Today, after 10-years of training, he is one of the fastest men in Houston. Roberto has a few maxims he lives by. One is, “Fill your life with experiences, not things.” He does not enjoy working out on a quarter-mile track, but he does love to run in the mountains. He has traveled throughout the world and says he has found beautiful places to train in almost every city he has visited. In 2013, Roberto received an offer to come to Houston and work as a bilingual teacher. The first thing he did was look for a place to run, and he found many suggestions for Memorial Park. Over the last 4 years, he has spent many evenings after work speeding around the trail at the Park. Roberto describes himself as a lone runner who is introverted and shy. However, he has met a few of the other local elites and has enjoyed building relationships with them. Besides his ability to run long distances at a pace that most people can only dream about, he is also a recognizable figure at the Park because of his long beard. Roberto says that in United States, many people assume he is a Christian or Muslim because of the beard. Instead, he is a militant atheist, which means he openly states his atheistic views, versus keeping his beliefs private. He says that he likes having the beard, and in the past he kept it trimmed, but in the last 2-years he has let it grow out. He admits that the fact he has allowed it to get so long may be due to laziness! Many of his friends and family members have suggested he shave it. However, that only makes him want to grow it even longer. This leads to another maxim in his life: “Be the person you want to be, not what others want to see.”