A stand-out in the Paulus Hook brunch scene, sam a.m. Cafe is a neighborhood hotspot that also hosts a weekly run club. Local runners meet outside the cafe every Wednesday morning at 6:30 AM for a four mile run through Liberty State Park. The cafe, located at 112 Morris Street in Jersey City, provides (free) post-run coffee + water, so plenty of runners stick around for a solid half-hour chatting and building friendships. Keep reading to learn all the details about the sam a.m. run club and how you can get involved with this friendly crew.
sam a.m. Run Club Basics
The sam a.m. run club started in 2021 and has been going strong ever since. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join. Sam Kirk (yes, the Sam behind the beloved cafe) is an avid runner and wanted to bring the local running community together for fitness and friendship.
Weekly group runs are held every Wednesday morning at 6:30 AM. The crew meets on the sidewalk outside sam a.m., located at 112 Morris Street, before the run begins. The route ends back at the cafe with free water and sam a.m. coffee.
Most runners hang out after the run and this is the perfect time to connect with other like-minded people who love kicking off their Wednesdays with an early morning run.
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What to Know as a First Timer
No matter what your running goals are, the sam a.m. run club is open to everyone. It’s free to join and you don’t have to sign up -– just show up on Wednesdays a few minutes before 6:30 AM ready to run.
The crew always follows the same four mile route through Liberty State Park and there’s a solid group to run with so first-timers don’t need to worry about getting lost. Want to run a few extra miles? You can usually find someone who will add on the distance with you, but the four mile route that starts and ends at the cafe is the most popular option.
As we mentioned earlier, you can look forward to free sam a.m. coffee after the run. We love a percolated perk. Some runners bring their own mugs and you’ll see an assortment on one of the outdoor tables as the group starts to gather in the morning. And don’t worry – cups are also provided so don’t feel like you have to bring one from home.
Dog parents are also welcome to bring their pups along for the run. It varies from week to week but there are usually three or four dogs in the mix.
More Than a Run Club
Sam has created something really special with this run club. He worked hard to foster a welcoming running community and it shows in the passionate group of people that come back Wednesday mornings week after week.
While the sam a.m. run club is a running group, it’s also so much more than that. It’s a space for people to plug into the community and connect with other people who enjoy getting up for a group run at 6:30AM (which, let’s be honest, isn’t something that everyone wants to do).
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Even if you’re not someone who likes to chat during the run, some of the best conversations happen over the post-run cup of coffee anyways. It’s a very welcoming group mostly made up of people who live within walking distance of the cafe so don’t be surprised when you start recognizing fellow sam a.m. runners throughout Paulus Hook. That’s what makes this group so special – you can really build an incredible network here of people with common interests here.
“sam a.m. is not just a running group to keep you fit and healthy or push you to your next PR,”
Tammy Locke who joined the group last June told Hoboken Girl. “It’s a community of like-minded people to create long-lasting friendships.”