Astronaut Jose Hernandez of Stockton will be the keynote speaker for the Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon at the event's dinner on March 20 at the Doubletree Hotel and Convention Center.
Hernandez was on the Discover's mission to the International Space Station Aug 28-Sept. 11, 2009.
"It's cool because he's local, from migrant farm worker parents," said Mike Araiza, one of the marathon's organizers. "Hopefully these kids can look at him, someone who made it, and say, 'Hey he made it. I can too!' "
Tickets to the pasta dinner are $25. For information visit www.modestomarathon.com.