Julian Smith, the director of the Cooper River Bridge Run since 1994, has to resign due to brain cancer

Julian Smith, the director of the Cooper River Bridge Run since 1994 and driving force behind making it one of the largest 10K races in the country, has resigned less than three months before the 2019 event.

Smith, 67, announced last year he is battling brain cancer.

Mike Seekings, a Charleston city councilman and vice chairman of the Cooper River Bridge Run Board of Directors, will serve as interim director for this year’s race, which is slated for April 6.

“Julian is a force of nature and his leadership will be missed by the entire Bridge Run family and community as he moves on to the next phase of his life and the inevitable challenges it will bring,” the board wrote in a release.

Seekings said Wednesday that preparations for the 2019 run are well under way. It will run smoothly, he said, thanks to Smith’s 24 years of leadership.

“He’s always made sure his staff was ready to step up,”  Seekings said of Smith, his friend for almost 30 years. “We still have some work to do, but we have a very capable team so it should be pretty seamless.”

But the board will be working with heavy hearts and fond memories of how Smith has influenced the storied Charleston event for nearly a quarter century.

posted Tuesday February 5th