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Musician taking on virtual London Marathon for hospital treating his daughter

PUBLISHED: 09:21 01 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:21 01 October 2020

Norwich Cathedral's master of music Ashley Grote with his daughter Emily after a previous London Marathon. Picture: Ashley Grote

Norwich Cathedral's master of music Ashley Grote with his daughter Emily after a previous London Marathon. Picture: Ashley Grote

Ashley Grote

A musician will be taking on this year’s virtual London Marathon to thank the hospital which is treating his daughter for a rare brain tumour.

Norwich Cathedral's master of music Ashley Grote running the 2018 London Marathon dressed up as Great Ormond Street Hospital's official mascot Bernard the bear. Picture: Ashley GroteNorwich Cathedral's master of music Ashley Grote running the 2018 London Marathon dressed up as Great Ormond Street Hospital's official mascot Bernard the bear. Picture: Ashley Grote

Norwich Cathedral’s master of music Ashley Grote, 38, who lives on Cathedral Close, was planning on running the 26.2-mile race in the capital for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Children’s Charity this year.

But due to the coronavirus pandemic thousands of runners will be taking on the gruelling challenge closer to home on October 4.

Norwich Cathedral's master of music Ashley Grote after completing a previuos London Marathon for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. Picture: Ashley GroteNorwich Cathedral's master of music Ashley Grote after completing a previuos London Marathon for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. Picture: Ashley Grote

Mr Grote, who has completed the London Marathon for GOSH over the past five years, is running the length of Marriott’s Way from Aylsham Station to Norwich as well as part of the city to the cathedral with his sister Helen Grote, 41.

The musician’s 10-year-old daughter, Emily, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in June 2014 aged just three and has been treated at GOSH since then. Her condition is currently stable.

Mr Grote said: “Over the past six years, GOSH has done so much to care for Emily and support our family, and we continue to depend on them. With the charity facing 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 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.”

MORE: Why the London Marathon is coming to a Norfolk village

Over his past five London Marathon challenges he has raised over £72,000 and so far has raised nearly £10,000 for this year’s run.

His fastest time is three hours and 41 minutes in 2017 but Mr Grote added pressures of lockdown, work and family commitments, has restricted his training.

Despite that he said: “I’m going to go for it. I’m a bit apprehensive but it is not so much about the time but about raising money. It will be different this year.”

He hopes to complete it in under four and a half hours.

After the virtual marathon, Mr Grote will be directing the cathedral choir for this year’s Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association Harvest Thanksgiving Service.

To support Mr Grote visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/teamemilygrote or send a cheque payable to ‘GOSHCC’ to 53a The Close, Norwich, NR1 4EG.


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