Master of Music all set for marathon quest

25 September 2020
Norwich Cathedral's Master of Music will soon be swapping his cassock for his running attire as he gets set to run his fifth London Marathon for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity.
Ashley Grote running the London Marathon (c) Ashley Grote (1)

On Sunday 4 October, Ashley Grote will join runners across the country in completing their 2020 London Marathon quest closer to home. Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, people have been asked to swap the traditional route through the capital for a more local course of their choice.

Ashley will be joined by his sister, Helen Grote, who is a Consultant Neurologist in a London Hospital, in running the length of the Marriott’s Way from Aylsham Station back to Norwich. They are starting out at 7am and intending to arrive at Norwich Cathedral in time for the end of the Morning Service.

Only a few hours later on the same day, Ashley will be back in front of the Cathedral Choir, directing them in the music for this year’s Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association Harvest Thanksgiving Service, which is taking place with a small, socially-distanced congregation this year due to the pandemic.

Ashley’s daughter Emily was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour back in 2014 and since then has been under the care of Great Ormond Street Hospital. She has undergone multiple surgeries as well as a course of Proton Beam therapy. Whilst her condition is currently stable, Emily makes frequent visits back to GOSH for scans, clinics and check-ups.

Ashley Grote running the London Marathon (c) Ashley Grote (5)
It was Emily’s initial surgery and treatment that inspired Ashley to run his first London Marathon for GOSH. Since then, he has raised over £72,000 for their charity. In 2018, he ran the hottest London Marathon on record dressed as ‘Bernard the Bear’, the official mascot of Great Ormond Street Hospital. He was due to run his fifth race in April this year before the Coronavirus pandemic caused the race to be postponed.

Each year, the hospital’s charity receives around £500,000 from the London Marathon alone, and the fundraising is all the more important this time around because this year GOSH faces a fall of of more than £30 million in its income due to the global pandemic.

Ashley said: “Over the past six years, Great Ormond Street Hospital has done so much to care for Emily and support our family, and we continue to depend on them. With the charity faces such huge losses this year, it is our turn to do all we can to support them. I hope that, by running a virtual marathon on 4 October, we can raise another good sum for this special hospital with which we have such a personal connection.It is my goal to reach a total of £100,000 raised for GOSH within the next two years.”

Anyone wishing to support Ashley in his marathon effort can donate online at or send a cheque payable to ‘GOSHCC’ to 53a The Close, Norwich, NR1 4EG.

Ashley Grote running the London Marathon (c) Ashley Grote (4)

Ashley Grote running the London Marathon (c) Ashley Grote