Plenty of sunshine and a good crowd filled the Anchorage Football Stadium Saturday for the annual Alaska Men's Run.

"There are so many reasons to be optimistic," said Gov. Bill Walker, on hand to offer words of encouragement in the fight against prostate and testicular cancer -- including the day's most important one.

The governor called out "go" to officially start the race, a five-mile event that promotes early detection of the two cancers.

Mike Zoske is a 19-year survivor of the disease.

"I feel good," Zoske said. "I'm active, I'm still walking and running, helping with things like this run, rowing my raft down the Kenai -- yeah, I'm working at it."

Walker, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in November 2016, is another survivor.

"It was very close when I caught it," Walker said. "If I had not caught it when I did, I think it would have spread significantly."

Many run to help those who suffer from prostate cancer, while others take a more leisurely route. That includes Jay and Kathy Wisthoff.

"It's all about cancer, and raising funds, and bringing awareness to the disease," said Kathy Wisthoff.

Saturday's event was more personal, as doctors recently diagnosed Jay Wisthoff with brain cancer.

"I'm feeling okay; everything is a new day, day-to-day," he said. "Yup, it's a fight."

This is the sixth time the Wisthoffs have taken part in this event.

Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.