Triathlons are races which include swimming, biking and running, usually in that order.  Occasionally you'll run across a tri that varies from this formula, but that's an exception.  There are many distance variations, and within those races, the distances can vary even more.  Here are the basics:

Sprint Triathlon:  These races can vary in length from a 300  to  700 yard swim, a 10 - 15 mile bike and 5 kilometer (3.1 miles) run.  There are sometimes races called "super sprints" that are even shorter, but in the Northeast Florida area these are usually just for kids.

Olympic or International Triathlon:  This distance gets its name because it is the distance raced in the Olympics.  It is usually a 1.5 Kilometer (.93 miles) swim, a 40k bike (24.8 miles) and a 10K (6.2 miles) run.

Half Ironman or 70.3 Triathlon:  The 70.3 refers to the total distance raced.  It is indeed half the Ironman distance - a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run.

Ironman Triathlon:  The ultimate goal of many triathletes, this distance is 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run (a full marathon).  And no, they are not only run in Hawaii.  There are many Ironman distance races throughout the United States.

Packing List - Use this excel spreadsheet to get you started developing your own race day packing list. Mark things off as you put them in your car. After the race, add anything to the list that you wish you had taken, so you'll have it for your next race.