Started by the McGrath family, Runnin’ of the Green (ROTG) was the first and longest-running event 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 with McCormick’s as the first official sponsor. This sponsor support was what initially drew the event to Lodo, where it remained until 2021. 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 unofficial start of the running season, at times drawing over 5,000 runners. Due to many factors, the event has moved to Washington Park where the fun, festive atmosphere still abounds!
ROTG has been a Colorado charity event for 35 years. Over the years, ROTG has been voted the best post-race party and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. For the past several years the Fetal Health Foundation has been the event's charity partner.