INDIANAPOLIS — Thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of Marion County this weekend for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon.

The Indy Mini expo kicked off Thursday, with runners from all walks of life answering the question: “Why do you run?”

“[My friend] made me do it last year for the first time and it got me hooked,” said runner Albert Kennedy.

“I run [the Indy Mini] for my long-term health,” said Sabrina Johnson. 

Each person running has a reason they are taking to the streets of Indianapolis and Speedway for this Saturday’s race.  

With more than 30,000 people expected to take part, it’s not hard to find a lot of different answers as to why they run.  

“It’s a great release of frustration and energy,” said runner Christie Artuso. “It just makes me feel great.”

“My bucket list once I got over 65 was to do a half in every state, so this will be half number 44,” said runner Jeff Stevens.

But for some, this year’s race holds a little more meaning.

“Life is so short, and you’ve got to take care of yourself and love your loved ones,” said runner Cliff Patchin.

Patchin is a two-time cancer survivor and eleven-time Indy Mini runner.

This year is his first time running the race since his last cancer diagnosis 3 years ago.  

“Yeah, I’m grateful I can do it,” said Patchin.

DeAnne Weaver said she is running this year after a much different battle. 

Weaver ran in the 2013 Boston Marathon and was less than a half mile from the finish line where the bombs went off. She said every stride she makes this weekend will be in honor of those who can’t run.

“It’s our chance to get back to a normal life and not let the hate out there control us,” said Weaver.

Many other runners said it’s a race that’s not about where you finish, but where you started from.

Where the real answer to “why do you run?” may just be, that it brings us all together. 

“We have a group of friends and it’s all about being social and camaraderie,” said runner Lynn Hertel.

“I’ve run every one since ’87 and I did two others before that. So, he decided to do it so I’m running with him, my buddy!” said runner Pat Kreuzman.

If you missed Thursday’s registration, in-person registration continues Friday at the Indiana Convention Center from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.