A hare scramble is a two-hour race (Nationals are three hours) around a closed loop track that consists of trees, hills, fields, streams, and rocks. Like motocross, to start the race, bikes are lined up in a straight row and they all leave the start line at the same time as everyone else in their class. There are different start lines for different classes (the class you ride is determined by your skill level and the size of your motorcycle. See "Class Descriptions").
Riders race head-to-head around the track (Usually 3 to 8 miles long in Iowa). At the end of each lap they pass through scoring gates. Riders race as hard as they can for the full two hours. They can race even longer if they go through the scoring gates just before the two-hour mark. Because even though two hours are finished, you have to race until you get back to the scoring gates.
The last time through the scoring gates the scorer writes down your finishing position, starting with number one though whatever number the last rider to finish is. The positions are first grouped by who completed the same number of laps. Then it is broken down by who had the lowest finish number. The person who had the most laps with the lowest finish number is the overall winner.
Riders compete in different classes and you are only scored with people who are riding in the same class that you are.