Len Sprague from Ballarat, was a strongly built athlete who moved with the grace of a panther. Unfortunately the forthcoming World War 2 and fallen arches resulted in Sprague competing under extreme difficulties.
He required heavy bandaging of both feet before competing, but nevertheless, his appearance at Stawell in 1939 saw him win the Gift over 130 yards and the Sprint Handicap, over 75 yards. With the world at War, the SAC managed to hold the Carnival until 1941, when Sprague created a world record run of 21.1 secs over 220 yards.
The Stewards’ Purse, also over 220 yards was won by Sprague, in the same record time, 21.1 secs. The War caused the SAC to abandon the Carnival until 1946, when Len again entered the Carnival, and despite being run out in the semi-final of the Gift, astonished spectators and runners alike with his run off scratch in the 220 yards to run eight yards inside evens in a time of 21.4/5 secs.
There was some confusion over the times, between the VAL and SAC official time-keepers, the VAL ruling the record attempt had failed.
Len Sprague set an Australian record for 300 yards of 30.3 secs, which was equalled by R. Dunbar in 1966.