LISTEN: COVID-19 almost killed this marathon runner. Now he wants Alaskans to take the threat seriously.

Greg Finstad in a race at Birch Hill in Fairbanks. (Alaska Science Forum/Geophysical Institute)

Fairbanks resident Greg Finstad was one of the first people in Alaska diagnosed with COVID-19. He says the disease almost killed him and he’s still recovering.

Finstad’s story was first featured in the Alaska Science Forum, a publication by UAF’s Geophysical Institute.

It might be surprising to some that it hit Finstad so hard: He went from his peak of fitness, training for the Boston Marathon, to flat on his back gasping for air as the coronavirus took hold of his lungs.

It started when Finstad, who manages the University of Alaska Fairbanks’s reindeer research program, flew to Washington to help his elderly mom. He was back in Alaska at his family cabin when he first noticed symptoms.


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