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Strawberry backs out of running up many, many steps

Former Mets right fielder Darryl Strawberry speaks during

Former Mets right fielder Darryl Strawberry speaks during the 2010 New York Mets Hall of Fame induction ceremony prior to the game against the Diamondbacks, Sunday. (August 1, 2010) Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

Darryl Strawberry was scheduled to race at this morning's Empire State Building Run-Up, but, according to a public relations person at the event, pulled out early this morning citing illness.

The below freezing temperatures, rain and high winds on the observation deck (where the race ended) surely wouldn't have helped.

The eight-time All Star was going to run for charity in the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) division, which sponsored the race.

Strawberry was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1998 and has twice undergone cancer surgery, including a procedure that removed 24 inches of his colon. In 2000, he had a cancerous tumor near his kidney removed. 

Strawberry also lost his mother at age 55 to breast cancer.

"It's all for a good cause, but I don't think I'll be running all the way up top," Strawberry told our own Jim Baumbach last week. "I'm quite sure all the other people trained, but me, I'm just coming to support cancer research, support the cause... Cancer is something that's touched everybody, I think. It's so close to my heart that I didn't even think about it. I just said, sure, I'll participate.

"I haven't worked out in 11 years," continued Strawberry, who acknowledged he really wasn't sure what he was getting himself into. "So that should tell you what it will be like for me. You know what? I'll just take the elevator from the first floor and beat them to the top."

Thomas Dold, a 24-year-old from Stuttgart, Germany, won the 34th annual event for a record sixth straight year. He finished the race — 1,576 steps from the building's lobby to the observation deck on the 86th floor — in 10:10, which was six seconds faster than his winning time last year.

Alice McNamara of Melbourne, Australia, won the women's division in 13:03. McNamara is a member of Australia's national rowing team.

New York Sports