Started by the McGrath family, Runnin’ of the Green (ROTG) is the first and longest-running event started in Denver's LoDo area. As avid runners, Terry and Margot McGrath formulated some ideas for starting a charity foot race celebrating, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring, being “Green”, and giving back to the community. After they bounced a number of names around Terry came up with “Runnin’ of the Green” a version of wearin’ of the green.
In 1988, the first ROTG was held in City Park where the McGraths were told that if they drew a few hundred people they should consider it a success. They drew almost 900 that year. McCormick’s was the first official sponsor that second year, and they moved to Lodo where the event remains (until 2021, when it moved temporarily, to Washington Park for COVID mitigation). Those first few years Terry and Margot spent countless hours courting sponsors and slapping windshields with ROTG brochures. Over the next few years, the number of runners boomed and the event became an iconic Denver race and the official start of the run season, at times drawing over 5,000 runners.
ROTG has been a Colorado charity event for 35 years. ROTG has been voted the best post-race party and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Volunteers of America. ROTG supports the Fetal Health Foundation.