Double Agents running Sunday’s Tacoma City Marathon

Festivities surrounding the ninth Tacoma City Marathon are underway at Hotel Murano’s Venice Ballroom.

The Tacoma City Marathon is Sunday at 7 a.m. and stretches from the Tacoma Narrows Airport to the Tacoma Art Museum. The race also includes a half marathon, marathon relay, 5-kilomter race, and a 1K race for children. More than 2,000 runners are expected.

This year’s expo, which started Friday at noon, serves as a launching pad for a new running club, the Double Agents. For years, “Double Agents” has been the nickname for those who’ve qualified for both the Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics, Tacoma-based clubs with more than 22,500 members worldwide.

Double Agent gear will go on sale for the first time at the Tacoma City Marathon Expo, club co-founder and race co-director Tony Phillippi said.

Getting into any of the three clubs is no easy feat. The minimum requirement calls for running two races (at the club’s distance) in 16 days or three in 90 days. Double Agents must meet qualifying standards for both clubs.

There is no fee to join Double Agents, but members must be current on their dues for the Fanatics and Maniacs.

Like the other clubs, there are nine levels of membership in the Double Agents based on how many races they finish. The levels are named after mountains. Level 1 is named for Mount Rainier and Level 9 is named for Mount Everest.

To attain the highest level, runners must do one of the following:

Finish 52 or more marathons in 365 days and 52 half marathons in 365 days.

Finish 30 marathons in 30 different states, countries or Canadian provinces within 365 days. And do the same with half marathons.

Finish 20 marathons in 20 countries in 365 days and 20 half marathons in 20 counties in 365 days.

“It’s pretty challenging but some people will do it,” Phillippi said.