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Wilmington landlord completes Dryathlon by going a year without alcohol

PUBLISHED: 17:35 04 January 2016 | UPDATED: 17:35 04 January 2016

Mark Powell on his year long Dryathlon

Mark Powell on his year long Dryathlon

© Southern News & Pictures Ltd.

Mark Powell, owner of The Plough, admits he celebrated with a tipple at one minute past midnight on New Year's Day

A Dartford landlord has successfully completed his challenge of going a year without alcohol.

Mark Powell, owner of The Plough in Wilmington, began his challenge following a heavy New Year’s Eve in 2014, and decided to make a change.

Initially planning on going sober for six months, he then wanted to go the whole year without alcohol and managed to overcome festive temptations to complete his Dryathlon on Friday.

Mr Powell said: “It’s been a long, bumpy old road but I got there eventually and I’m delighted.

“Even though lots of people were drinking on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve and I couldn’t touch anything, it was actually quite easy because I’d been doing it for so long.

“I celebrated by having a drink at one minute past midnight, and a lot of people wanted to buy me drinks to congratulate me.”

However, as a keen mountain runner, Mr Powell insists he won’t be binging on the booze now, and will take everything in moderation.

“The challenge has made me a lot fitter and healthier and I want to keep that up,” he said.

“It’s something different to do and I’d definitely recommend that more people get involved.

“The business has benefitted too because of the publicity and people were coming in to offer their support.”

Mr Powell’s success coincides with the Dry January campaign, which challenges people to go sober for 31 days.

Tom Smith, director of campaigns at Alcohol Concern, said: “All over Britain people will relax with a drink after a stressful day, or even at lunch, without realising the harm it can do to their health.

“Over December we all tend to drink much more than normal without realising it.

“Having a month off from booze helps people realise wine o’clock is often more of a habit than a pleasure.

“Dry January is an incredible opportunity to reassess our relationship with alcohol, as well as gaining some great health benefits such as; lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, improved sleep, losing weight and feeling more energised.”

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