IT WAS almost 50 years ago this summer that Huddersfield athlete Derek Ibbotson smashed the world mile record.
Now dozens of Huddersfield youngsters hope to follow in his running shoes.
Up to 300 schoolchildren are taking up the Golden Mile Challenge - and aiming to break Ibbotson's record of 3min 57.2 seconds.
But they can cheat a little; the organisers want them to race as relay teams over the distance.
Ibbotson, 74, who was born in Berry Brow, set the record at London's White City Stadium on July 19, 1957, in front of an ecstatic crowd of 40,000 people.
It ranked as one of his finest achievements, along with the bronze medal he picked up in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
Now the challenge has been thrown down to local runners.
Runners from Kirklees schools will try to emulate - or better - his Golden Mile on the new running track at Leeds Road Playing Fields, Huddersfield, on Wednesday next week.
Up to 300 middle and secondary school pupils will take part in mile-long composite relays, with certificates for teams who break Ibbotson's record.
To start with, teams will run 4x400m and 8x200m relays and a 2x400m,2x200m,4x100m event.
The Golden Mile celebration will culminate in two events most likely to produce record-winning times - 16x100m and a 1600m relay in which individual teams decide the number of runners and the distance each member runs.
Clr Jim Dodds, Kirklees Council's Cabinet member for children and young people, said: "When you take into consideration that this record was broken on a cinder track and in running shoes that bear little resemblance to today's, it does highlight the extent of Derek Ibbotson's achievement.
"The variations will illustrate to these young runners just how difficult it was to achieve that time, and at the same time let them have a bit of fun with relays that are different to what they are used to.
"Also, we hope the schools enjoy the whole experience of running on the new track and will come back and use it again."
So far 11 schools have entered teams, including Derek Ibbotson's old school, King James' School at Almondbury, which is sending three teams.
The event, organised by community athletics coach Andy Cook, of Kirklees Culture and Leisure Services, starts at 1.30pm and will last until about 3pm. Members of the public are welcome to watch.
Kirklees Mayor Clr Jean Calvert and Clr Dodds will present certificates.
In the evening, local athletics clubs - including Longwood Harriers, with whom Ibbotson trained at Leeds Road - will do the same challenge. Teams will be made up of all age groups, from under-13 to senior, men and women.
The club's Golden Mile starts at 7pm and will finish around 8.30pm.
The Golden Mile celebration is part of Kirklees's Getting Fit For 2012 campaign.