Sam Zell, 30, has run half marathons, and is training to run his first full one at the Atlantic City Marathon in October. He likes training in groups.

“It helps with motivation and building relationships,” he said.

So he volunteered to start the Shore Running Club, in conjunction with the Katz Jewish Community Center in Margate. It began meeting Memorial Day weekend, and has attracted about 20 people each week, he said.

Meetings are group runs for three to five or ten miles, starting on the Ventnor Boardwalk, said Zell, who grew up in Margate and graduated from Atlantic City High School in 2000. Then the group heads to a local eatery for breakfast, where their membership gets them a discount.

Zell volunteers his time to the club, which charges no fees. Most members are local, and about 25 percent are seasonal folks, he said. Members get wristbands for food discounts, at, so far, Hot Bagels & More and Juniors Donuts and Dogs.

The club is open to people of all abilities. “There is always someone there at your level,” he said.

Zell, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004, worked for a private equity firm and then started his own real estate investment and consulting company. He divides his time between Philadelphia and his shore hometown.

His parents are Herman and Marsha Zell, of Margate.

To join the club

The Shore Running Club meets 7:30 a.m. Saturday mornings at Martindale Avenue on the Ventnor Boardwalk. For more information email

Cross-country bike ride

Adrianus Verhoeven has lived all his life in the flat land of the Netherlands and southern New Jersey. But to celebrate his 75th birthday, the part-time Ocean City resident decided to ride cross country on a bike, facing mountain ranges such as the Sierra Nevadas and Rockies, with a group called America By Bicycle.

He started from San Francisco on June 2, dipping his back wheel in the Pacific on a little beach near the Golden Gate Bridge, which also recently turned 75, said his daughter Yolanda Verhoeven-Sutherland, of Ocean City.

Verhoeven is in Colorado now, and doing well in the mountains, she said. The group rides seven to nine hours a day. They will end up in Portsmouth, N.H., where they will dip their front wheels in the Atlantic Ocean the third week in July, after riding about 54 days with only four rest days, Verhoeven-Sutherland said.

Verhoeven did long rides in his younger days — one from Saudi Arabia to The Netherlands — but never a ride of this length, she said.

To can follow the ride’s progress at Bama Cyclist.